Pinot Noir is typically a medium bodied wine, light in color with flavors of cherry, raspberry and cranberry. Depending on the region, the level of fruitiness and influence of earthiness varies.
California pinot's typically more fruit forward with bolder flavors. Oregon Pinots tend to be more delicate in the fruit flavors with more earthiness (I call them 'dirty Pinots."). Both styles are great for different reasons. It is also nice to discover those that have a little bit of both in the bottle, like the 2010 St. Innocent Temperance Hill Pinot Noir.
We discovered this wine on a trip to Willamette Valley in 2012. Not only did we like the taste, we also rated it with a high QPR score (what's a QPR score?). This wine is darker in color than you would find with a typical Oregon Pinot. Light smokey nose, dark cherry and raspberry flavors with a touch of spice. Just enough earthiness to round it all out, with a very smooth finish. It paired quite nicely with our flat iron steak and pork chops!
Keep an eye out for it in restaurants, or purchase directly from the winery. Retails $32.